Do you want to create additional income? You’re probably well aware that there are many people like yourself who are seeking the same thing. There are many options available but basically four different kinds of business models, each having its own set of pros and cons. Conventional employers offer commissions or wages and small private businesses typically are all based on exchanging your time for ‘transactional’ revenue. Neither of those allows much chance for you to ‘leverage’ or ‘scale’ your business. Franchise ownership typically requires substantial cash investments and expertise that most people do not have. That leaves a host of business opportunities that are very popular offering independent status as a ‘representative’ or ‘agent’ under the broad category of ‘marketing’ and requiring some degree of team building and leadership.
There are many questionable and unrealistic opportunities being pitched at people these days. One of your first priorities should be to work with a team that has carefully investigated many of the various business models that are out there. You should have a clear ‘roadmap’ to find and work with a successful business that brings proven value to the marketplace, fits one of your areas of interest and has developed a proven program for on the job training so you can earn income while you learn the strategies for succeeding at your business.
Biblical principles of ethics and unquestionable integrity are absolutely imperative for you and anyone you would choose to work with. And it’s only realistic to accept the fact that everybody has different interests and skills that will guide them to the enterprise that works best for them. That’s why I work at helping people embrace the concept of “diversifying” their approach to producing income, much like a farmer reflects the Wisdom of Solomon in Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 (Read it when you get a chance).
In my experience and after researching dozens of different types of home businesses for myself, it’s clear that everyone wants to avoid a wild goose chase. There are some key success factors that are critical for long term success. Every one of these factors is just as important as the next.
Here’s a good question to ask any serious business person:
“Do you agree that the ideal business is one that keeps customers coming back and that does not require your personal handling of all future transactions?”
That’s what creates ongoing ‘passive’ income, right?
Many people are familiar with the “80 – 20 rule.” You know what that is I’m sure. 20% of the people (or less) create 80% of the success or results in just about anything. A good question to ask is:
“What if you could have a business where even the 80% (of people who are your customers and business partners) are so delighted with their participation with you that they count their success, even as customers using your products, as adequate reason to continue doing business with you?”
When it’s appropriate to talk with a business person about the search that many people are doing right now to find a reliable business opportunity, they will appreciate having this list of Success Factors. The logical question to ask next, after a thoughtful review of these 12 points, is my question at the end.
1. Company track record –
How long has the company you’re considering representing been in business? What are the company’s annual sales statistics each year since they began their business? Does the company print average income statistics for business builders? It should and you should ask for them. Proof of long term sales, success and growth is critical in choosing any business.
2. Financially sound –
Does the company have outstanding debt? Joining a company that is debt free is something I highly recommend to lessen any risk to you.
3. Strong management team –
What are the backgrounds and credentials of the management team? You want to join a company that is run with integrity and strong leadership.
4. Unique consumable products –
Are the products of the company products that people actually need, use, run out of and repurchase month after month? Do the products have any trademarks or patents allowing for exclusive rights (meaning no other company can copy them)? If the products are not consumable, meaning something that a person would only buy once, then that is a business that will not be viable long term. If the products are consumable but not necessarily a genuine need, that will reduce your chance for long term success. Products that are truly needed and consumed monthly make for a solid business model.
5. Wide market appeal –
Are the products something everyone needs and uses? If the products are specific for a certain gender, age group or body size for example, you reduce your market potential. It is not something for everyone. If you choose a narrow niche product, you must ask yourself if you are comfortable excluding customers that are not attracted to that niche.
6. Competitive prices –
Are the products comparable in price or less expensive than the competition? If they are too expensive this is not a business that will produce ongoing great results. What will you do when you find competitors with equally high quality products that are reputably offered for a lot less cost? You may be loyal out of sheer stubbornness but your customers will run to the competitors.
7. High customer reorder rate –
Does the company share its reorder rate? This means one thing. How many customers that purchased from the company last month, reorder again the following month? If the re-order rate is low, the business will not be viable as new customers simply replace your old customers producing no real growth or a secure, residual income. Know that it will be difficult to find this information from most companies directly. Don’t make a decision until you know this important piece of the business model you are considering joining.
8. Low initial investment –
If the cost to join or start your business is too high it makes for more risk and difficulty in attracting customers and business partners. If a start up fee is high and a ‘customer acquisition bonus’ is also high, beware of what might be a “Ponzi scheme.” Many so-called ‘ground-floor opportunities’ have attracted many hopeful participants, only to tragically end in the loss of much time and money for the vast majority of eager business partners.
9. Low monthly requirement –
If there is a high monthly requirement, customers and business builders may end up storing an inventory of products they do not need. If there is a low monthly product purchase requirement, then customers are getting what they need for personal use each month. From a business standpoint, you know customers are purchasing each month. That creates the freedom of true residual income.
10. Rewards for leadership development –
Does the company reward you for helping others in your business succeed? If there is any way the company could remove business building partners from your business because of their success, be very careful about joining. There should never be potential for you to lose great partners. Also be sure that you receive a reward for the business created by all of the customers that you personally bring to the company. There are many companies that cleverly take away productive customers and business partners from hard working people just like you.
11. Risk-free – Is everything 100% guaranteed?
If not, could you seriously advise someone to join you? Be sure the guarantee is long enough to adequately ‘test-drive’ the product. Check to see how the company handles returns and refunds. You will be so much more satisfied with your company when you can confidently tell your prospective customers that you know from personal experience about their excellent customer service and refund policy.
12. Anyone can be successful –
Is the business plan set up for anyone to be successful at any time? If it’s a company that says “Ground floor” opportunity, or “Get in Now”, be very wary. If only the people who join at the beginning can be successful, then eventually people will get hurt.
The only real question after considering this list is this:
“which one of these factors would you take off the list if you were going to seriously consider working with the company?”
If anyone seeing this list knows someone they care about is considering working with a company as an independent representative, they might be wise to consider: “how does that company measure up?” If we are honest with ourselves, nothing can match the conviction of ‘certainty’ that is backed up by verifiable data and experience. All the above points are relevant particularly to the one who has a long term commitment in mind. That’s why we should be just as eager to ‘prove all things’ in this part of life as we should be in any other.
If you are serious about researching further on this topic in preparation for making a decision about where to invest your valuable time, be sure to get the eBook, “Ethical Network Marketing,” by Mark Virkler with notes by Dennis Petersen. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ReclaimYourLegacy.com for more information.